Charlie Hebdo Argumentative Analysis

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The 2015 shooting at the French magazine Charlie Hebdo’s sparked debates around the world about freedom of speech and what was morally just to print and publish. There was also lots of controversy about whether or not Charlie Hebdo and its authors should be criticized or celebrated. Some of the most common remonstrates for celebrating or defending Charlie Hebdo’s publications include the claim that there should be moral or ethical limitations on free speech, the notion that Charlie Hebdo is hate speech and promotes violence and finally religion and religious obligations. However, freedom of speech, in terms of John Stuart Mill’s theory of Utilitarianism, benefits the greatest amount of people even though it may sometimes offend a minority.…show more content…
This argument is nonsensical because humour doesn’t equal violence. Satire is peaceful, and is an appropriate answer to savagery (RESIST). Words (or pictures) and actions are not the same thing; there is nothing violent about Charlie Hebdo’s publications (RESIST).The content published in the magazine may offend certain people, but freedom of speech includes the freedom to offend (WARBURTON). If we limit free speech to only include the things we want to hear, then it’s not really free speech. A good example of this is the 1977 case in Skokie Illinois, where a group of Neo-Nazis wanted to march through a village consisting mainly of Holocaust survivors. While this would have been extremely offensive to most people, their constitutional rights were exercised, and even though they were moved to Chicago, the march still took place (WARBURTON). Extreme toleration is the way in which we maintain a free and balanced…show more content…
Charlie Hebdo received many criticisms for being anti-Islam and promoting islamophobia; however, during a Vice News interview with Luz, one of the few remaining cartoonists of the magazine, he stressed that while he and Charlie Hebdo weren’t anti-religion, they were willing to criticize religion (VICE). It’s important to note that the Muslim faith wasn’t the only one criticized; Charlie Hebdo has also published satirical depictions of the Christian and Jewish faith. The Islamic faith was focused on more often than others, but this was most likely due to the fact that there have been so many global issues revolving around that faith in recent years. While the Islamic faith denounces violence (WARD AND WASSERMAN), many Muslim countries still have customs that seem archaic from a Western viewpoint. For example, in certain countries, the act of insulting the prophet Mohammed is on par with murder and terrorism, and is punishable by death (RESIST). This is similar to the inquisition, when so called heretics were burned at the stake for speaking out against the church (UNMOURNABLE). The battle for free speech in terms of Christianity has already been fought and won; the Christian religion is no longer granted special protection against criticism (WARBURTON). Why should we treat the Islamic religion any

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